The Passion of the ‘Pause.

by Jennifer Upton

There you are sitting in a café with your partner of many years enjoying a warm beverage when someone walks past your table.

You don’t know them. But you’d like to.

Your pupils dilate like a cat zeroing in on a low-hanging Christmas tree ornament.

You sip your drink, grateful your partner is engrossed in their sudoku puzzle.

One last look as the hottie passes through the café door, its bell ringing in ironic symbolism.

Your inner voice purrs, “Wouldn’t that be… nice?”

It’s not the voice of logic – it’s the voice of logic’s sworn enemy – libido.

You’re not alone.

Is That a Hot Flash or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

While the majority of online articles focus on the opposite problem – lack of sex drive, vaginal dryness and depression - many women experience an increase in libido during perimenopause and menopause.


When estrogen levels drop, a natural increase in the ratio of testosterone to estrogen occurs.

What is testosterone and why is it important?

In females, testosterone is an androgen produced by the ovaries.

The average healthy female usually produces about 1/10 the amount of testosterone of a healthy male.

It is sometimes known as the “mojo” hormone because it plays a significant role in

  • desire,
  • sexual stimulation, and
  • orgasm.

It is also crucial in metabolic processes that affect the health of the muscles, bones, and brain. (1)

The result can leave us feeling like a horny teenage boy, as evidenced by the preponderance of women over 40 on line to see Magic Mike Live in London’s West End on any given performance day.

It’s All In Your Head. Sort Of. Partly.

But, it’s not just hormones that cause us to go all American Pie.

There are also psychological factors at play.

Women over 40 have seen and experienced more life, leading to a greater sense of self-confidence.

For many, self-confidence translates to a greater connectedness to our sexual needs.

When compared to the teens or early twenties, we know our bodies better and have gained more communication skills.

We know what we like and how to ask for it!

More free time to think about sex!

Although many are choosing to start families later, older women generally do not have to worry about child care or parenting very small children.

What are the social ramifications of a higher libido in women?

For single ladies, it’s all good.

If you are desirous of a partner, go for it!

Get out there and date to your heart’s content.

There are many dating apps and websites made exclusively for those over 40, 50 and 60.

Or, do things the old-fashioned way and mingle!

Find groups of people who share your interests in your age group.

Be safe and responsible.

Those in perimenopause can still become pregnant and anyone can catch an STI.

Going Solo

For those single and not interested in dating, there are plenty of healthy ways to scratch the itchy inner cat.

Masturbation is a safe, healthy way to express yourself sexually.

When a person orgasms, endorphins are released, leading to these mental and physical benefits:

  • Releases sexual tension
  • Reduces stress
  • Deeper sleep
  • Increased confidence in self-esteem and body image
  • For those still having periods, it can relieve cramps and muscle tension and increase pelvic floor muscle tone

Using a dildo in the vagina is not the only way to enjoy yourself solo.

There are plenty of sex toys on the market – many designed by women - as well as female friendly porn videos – in HD!

Duets Out of Tune

But, for those in committed, closed, relationships, perimenopause and menopause can be a challenging time.

Especially for those with partners whose sex drives don’t sync up.

A genuine problem given that male testosterone continually drops over the age of 30.

I know of at least three long-term relationships broken by the “increased sex drive” phase that many women experience during perimenopause.

Hearts were broken and the trajectories of lives were changed forever.

In two out of three cases, the women in question went on to date younger partners.

Partners who “can keep up.”

Proof that the mid-life crisis is not the exclusive territory of men.

What to do if your man has paused.

Be patient.

A hard thing to do when things aren’t…well…hard.

Get your partner to the doctor for a check-up.

Make sure they test testosterone levels.

If they’re too low, the doctor will recommend a treatment plan.

Carve out special time for each other.

Turn off the TV and put away the phones and laptops.

Don’t be afraid to play!

  • Massage,
  • oral sex,
  • anal sex,
  • toys,
  • nipple stimulation,
  • kissing,
  • massage,
  • dry humping,
  • sex toys,
  • autoeroticism (either solo with one partner watching or shared),
  • fantasies,
  • tickling,
  • bondage, and a whole continuum of sexual exploration that doesn’t involve penetrating the vaginal canal are all examples of non-vaginal sex.

Although increased libido during perimenopause and menopause can be a frustrating thing, it can also be a wonderful time.

A time when the insecurities and stupidity of youth are long gone while the sexual drive remains.

Enjoy it!

Take your eyes and your mind off that hottie that just walked past you in the café and focus on the person sitting across from you.

Remember that time in the woods on that hiking trip 15 years ago?

Wouldn’t that be…nice… again?

mySysters is an app for women in perimenopause and menopause. Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day named mySysters the Best App for Women in Perimenopause and a Must Have App for Women.

  • The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn